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English Civil War Ghost Stories


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#1    Cufflink

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 08:59 PM

Well, I suggested it, so I might as well start the ball rolling.  Our first English civil war ghost story is in my own area, and is the haunted pub, The Ring o' Bells.


The Ring o' Bells is said to be one of the oldest buildings in Middleton, Greater Manchester, and may be one of it's most haunted. The pub's foundations are thought to date all the way back to Saxon times, and legend has it that a Druidical temple stood at this spot in the Iron Age - perhaps a place of ancient sacrifice. In the Middle Ages it served as a refectory for monks brewing their potent ale, probably in the area where the pubs cellars are currently situated.


The Ghost
The pub is said to be haunted by an unhappy  Cavalier, from the English Civil War, who has been nicknamed Edward.  The ghost, dressed in his royalist finery, had been seen on a few occasions, within the pub and outside by various landlords and a local lady.  As well as sightings, 'Edward' has manifested in other less visual ways, including footsteps sounding on the stairs, and other strange noises. He has also been known to lay a heavy hand on customers, much to their surprise when they turn to find nobody in the vicinity.

One of the more frightening incidents was recorded in the Oldham Evening Chronicle, August 18th 1972.  The Landlord at that time, Mr George Barnett, was checking barrels in the cellar around midnight when a stone was thrown at his shoulder.  He looked around but no-one was in the room. This wasn't the first time Mr Barnett had been shaken by a strange event within the pub.  He had felt a strange presence, and had even seen a glass slide along the bar, but the stone throwing seemed a more aggressive action.  He speculated that someone had perhaps upset the spirit.


The History
The traditional story about the Sad Cavalier suggests he was the son of the Lord (Stannycliffe) of Stannycliffe Hall in the 1600's. The Lord and his family were unwavering Royalists during the turbulent times of the Civil War. Unfortunately for them Middleton became more staunchly Parliamentarian (Roundhead), with the Old Boars Head becoming the Roundhead's headquarters in the area.

The story goes that a pocket of Royalist resistance - including the Lords son - survived in the area, and used the cellars of the Ring o' Bells as a clandestine meeting place. The cellars were linked to Middleton Parish Church by a secret tunnel, by which they could escape if their furtive council was compromised (this passage is said to have been verified by openings which were bricked up within the cellar).

One day somebody betrayed the son of Lord Stanycliffe to the Roundheads whilst he was still in the pub. He managed to flee to the cellars and down the dark tunnel, only to be cut to pieces by Roundheads who were waiting at the church by the passage exit. His body is supposed to have been buried under the flagstones of the cellar, where he is said to remain to this day. Some time in the past helmets and pikes have been discovered under the cellar floor, which date to the 1600's, but no human remains have been found.


The Focus
At one time the snug (a small room in many old British pubs), which is situated directly over the cellar, was said to have been the room in which the Cavaliers plotted against the might of Oliver Cromwell's Parliamentarian New Model Army.

This room has served as a focus for the haunting, and a seat within the snug was for a long time known as the Cavaliers seat, which was always said to be much colder than the rest of the room. Some enthusiasts, who were allowed to spend a night there, recorded colder readings in this area than in any part of the room.

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#2    dancin'hamster

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 09:04 PM

*gives Cuff ripple of applause*

Nice story oh wimpy-one!

Hammy x x x  


#3    Cufflink

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 09:13 PM

QUOTE (dancin'hamster @ Oct 17 2003, 10:04 PM)
*gives Cuff ripple of applause*

Nice story oh wimpy-one!

Bless you, creamcake.

One tries.   grin2.gif

Not that I'd investigate it personally.  Fat scaredy chance.  blink.gif  

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#4    Agent_21

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 09:17 PM

Oh yes, a nice story. That's a fascinating part of British history and there do seem a lot of ghostly remnants from then. Nice pic too.


#5    Cufflink

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 09:50 PM

Thanks, Agent.   thumbsup.gif    I thought it appropriate to start with two of the things often connected with British ghost stories.  Cavaliers and pubs! tongue.gif  

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#6    Agent_21

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Posted 18 October 2003 - 07:35 PM

Will there be more from this tumultuous period? Have you noticed, BTW, how poor many photos are in ghost books?

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#7    Cufflink

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Posted 18 October 2003 - 08:33 PM

QUOTE (Agent_21 @ Oct 18 2003, 08:35 PM)
Will there be more from this tumultuous period? Have you noticed, BTW, how poor many photos are in ghost books?

A:21

I hope to stick more stories on this thread (and others please do so, by all means), until it gets a bit long and unwieldy.

And yep, I'd noticed that with a lot of those books.  The better the text, the more useless the pictures.  I usually look for some online

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#8    dancin'hamster

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 04:52 PM

Cuffs ~ I've had a report from a couple who moved into an old Lodge. During their first week there, as they sat snuggled-up on the sofa, a Cavalier walked through the wall and strode right through the telly.......!!!!!!!!
A few months later, as they were 'entertaining' friends, an old lady came barging trhrough the wall and sat donw in a chair. They all stared at her...........she stared back..........and then vanished.

blink.gif

Hammy x x x


#9    Cufflink

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 06:26 PM

Blimey!

Lucky them...not! scared.gif

Full details, please, Hams, if you've got them.

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#10    Agent_21

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 08:18 PM

QUOTE (dancin'hamster @ Oct 20 2003, 04:52 PM)
During their first week there, as they sat snuggled-up on the sofa, a Cavalier walked through the wall and strode right through the telly.......!!!!!!!!

Talk about a cavalier attitude! laugh.gif

I have a Civil War - pub story from Sussex. I'll add it shortly. grin2.gif

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#11    Cufflink

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 01:02 AM

QUOTE (Agent_21 @ Oct 20 2003, 09:18 PM)
Talk about a cavalier attitude! laugh.gif

laugh.gif  laugh.gif  laugh.gif

Have that man arrested!  grin2.gif  

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#12    Cufflink

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 02:39 AM

Marston Moor

One of the decisive battles of the English Civil Wars was Marston Moor, near York.  On 2nd July 1644, the Parliamentarian forces, led by Oliver Cromwell, defeated the Royalist forces at Long Marston. Cromwell used the Old Hall at Long Marston village as his base for the battle and his ghost has reputedly been seen there on several occasions, pacing up and down, deep in thought before the conflict.

More interestingly, and perhaps, more credible, are tales of ghostly combatants seen in the area. One such example:

In 1932, two motorists, lost while searching for the Wetherby road, came across a group of bedraggled men trudging along in the ditch that ran alongside the road.  The motorists slowed down to ask if they needed assistance.  They noticed the men were dressed as cavaliers.  The dishevelled cavaliers appeared not to notice the motorists or their car.

The cavaliers clambered out of the ditch, and wandered into the centre of the road.  Suddenly, a bus appeared, coming from the opposite direction.  The bus ran right over them without stopping.

The motorists leapt from their car, and began a frantic search of the road.  They found nothing.  Had they witnessed the ghosts of Royalists fleeing the battle of Marston Moor?


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#13    Cufflink

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 06:32 AM

Did someone shout "bump?"

No?  Sorry, my mistake. rolleyes.gif  

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#14    Cufflink

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 04:34 PM

Old Wardour Castle
Old Wardour Castle, Tisbury, Wiltshire, is now a ruin, standing in the grounds of a stately home.  The  ghost of 60-year-old Lady Blanche Arundell is said to still haunt the destroyed castle where she, and 25 servants, valiantly led a doomed Royalist resistance for nearly a month during the English Civil War.

The hexagonal shaped castle built in 1393, for John the Fifth Lord Lovel, was besieged for 25 days by Cromwell's Roundhead troops, under Sir Edward Hungerford, before the overwhelming force of 1000 soldiers became too much for the defenders.  Lady Arundell was imprisoned for war crimes, and later executed.

Some months later, Henry Arundell led a Royalist counter-siege. Whether by design or misfortune, gunpowder mines laid in a drainage tunnel beneath the castle, caused a large part of the castle to collapse. The damage was deemed beyond repair, and the ruined castle would later become part of the landscaped grounds of the new house built at Wardour.

The castle's ghost is seen to walk the surrounding lawns shortly before dusk, making it's way toward the nearby lake.  The ghost is assumed to be that of Lady Arundell, but could just as easily be one of her companions, who was with her during the seige.

The spooky ruin, and tales of it's ghost, still holds it's appeal today, attracting all sorts of ghosthunters.

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#15    dancin'hamster

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 05:49 PM

Ghost-hunters.............and would-be-Ghost-Hunters with farty dogs  wink2.gif  





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